IMPACT IN SEARCHWHY YOUR BRAND SHOULD BE ANEARLY ADOPTER• The prominence of Google+ in search results and potential benefits of properly optimizing content and prioritizing activity to index well in Google should not go unnoticed.• Google+ itself is considered a social layer, with Google Search Plus Your World strengthening the relationship between search and social by adding in a social personalization layer to search.• As a content sharing platform, Google+ is constantly feeding the Google search engine with data on the content’s engagement activity, which is having a direct influence on search results and SEO rankings.• Content from Google can still rank even if Google’s search personalization is turned off.• Google+ content can rank within only minutes of it being posted
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENT FOCUS ON THESE EIGHT ESSENTIAL ASPECTS:• Google+ Profile• Circles• Create Post Headlines• Utilize Images in Posts• Produce & Share Compelling Content• Maximizing the +1 button• Account Verification• Author Verification *PepsiCo is an Edelman client.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTGOOGLE+ PROFILE• Profile Name – Keep this simple. This will appear on all posts, so don’t keyword stuff your profile name. *Starbucks is an Edelman client.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTGOOGLE+ PROFILE• Use targeted keywords, based on your keyword research, when describing your business. This includes the tagline that appears at the top of the About section.• The tagline serves as the page’s meta *H&M is an Edelman client. description and appears in the search results. It also shows up in the Google+ feed when users hover over the brand name.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTGOOGLE+ PROFILE• Profile Image - If possible, take full advantage of the space allowed for the profile image. You may not have much choice in some cases because the brand’s logo is the brand’s logo. However, if possible, a square profile image with color all the way to the edges can appear bigger than one with white space. • Less white space makes the logo look bigger
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTGOOGLE+ PROFILE• Scrapbook Images – The 5 images at the top of your profile are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality and encourage fans to engage. Be creative! You could use 5 stand alone photos, create a panoramic photo board, or even upload animated gifs. *Call of Duty is an Edelman client.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTGOOGLE+ PROFILE• Internal linking within the Introduction section is another important factor in building out an optimized profile.• Be sure to state keywords exactly how they appear in keyword research, even if they are not technically grammatically correct, to ensure that your content is reaching the greatest number of people.• The Recommended Links section is the perfect area to link to your owned web properties including other social platforms and your company site. Make sure that you only include relevant links, so as not to send mixed signals to Google.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTCIRCLES• When creating new Circles, use targeted keywords in the names. Also, make sure to announce and promote the Circles once they go live.• Capturing the attention of users with high authority can build equity and catapult engagement on their own pages.• Brands should seek to secure relationships with users of high authority and influence to build equity by commenting on, sharing and interacting with content on these pages to capture their followers.• Influential people in the brand’s Circle who link back to the profile will improve the page’s overall influence and authority.• Engaging content is critical to securing followers because a brand cannot add someone to a Circle unless that person has first added the brand.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTPOST HEADLINES• Adding bolded headlines to your posts will not only make them stand out, but it also serves as meta data for the post. To add a headline, put asterisks around the text, like this: *Your Headline Here*.• As always, be sure to use relevant keywords.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTPOST IMAGES• Take advantage of the size allowances of Google+ for images in your posts.• Make sure your photo is large enough to take up all the vertical and See how this post horizontal space it can. takes up almost twice the space as the one• A larger image can help your post take below? up more real estate in the results page and push other listings further down.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTPOST IMAGES• Don’t forget to max out the allowable horizontal image space too.• This helps to make your post more eye-catching by filling more of the white space on the search results page with color.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTCREATE COMPELLING CONTENT• To create Google+ posts that attract attention, gain followers and rank in search, there are a few basic considerations: • Develop fresh content. Inactivity leads to a drop off in search rank. Don’t let more than 72 hours pass between posts by creating a consistent content schedule. • Share engaging videos and photos. • Survey your audience. • Be relevant. • Post frequently. Studies have shown that even pages generating fewer +1′s per post, reshares, replies or Circle membership can find their way into the organic rankings by posting frequently. Proceed with caution, however, as Google looks for quality and penalizes content considered spam. • Use keyword research to inform keyword strategy to write all content. • Audit the brand’s current content and strategies on websites and other social media platforms. When the same content is posted both on Google+ and on a company’s blog, the Google+ data has been known to rank higher in organic search due the +1s and engagement the content had garnered in the past *Ben & Jerry’s is an Edelman client. • Avoid trademark symbols when possible. Google does not read trademarks and other intellectual property symbols. In fact, using unknown symbols can push your page lower in the search rankings.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTSHARE COMPELLING CONTENTMAXIMIZE THE +1 BUTTON• Fostering engagement on posts is important and can aide in expanding your Circles and influence, but the end goal should be capturing +1s to influence SEO.• Include a “site level” +1 button – This should either target your homepage url, or your Google+ page url• Include a content/post/product level +1 button that targets the URL of the page. Make sure it appears near the compelling content for easy reach.• Include these buttons to your multiple owned properties that host relevant content – it is impacting search ranking. Keep tabs on the type of content that garners the most +1s to inform future content strategy and ideas.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTACCOUNT VERIFICATION• Link your Google+ account to your blog/website and to get a Google+ badge for your website/blog.• Once you receive the badge, submit a Google+ page verification request.• Unfortunately, there is no steadfast rule for when a page can receive verification. Generally a page must obtain 1,000 people linking to it to be eligible for verification. More recognized brands have been able to receive verification with less than 1,000 people linking to their page. Confirming ownership of a site seems to influence search within Google+.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENTAUTHORITY THROUGH AUTHORSHIP• To increase your brand’s credibility as an authority in its space, acknowledge your brand as the creator of content and posts with authorship markup.• Google has introduced the rel=”author” and rel=”publisher” tags to webmasters as a way to connect your website or other owned properties with your Google+ profile in search results. Learn More from Google• The added images that appear in the search results have been shown to increase click through rates of the articles.
TRACKING & MEASURING SUCCESSGOOGLE RIPPLES• Google+ Ripples is incredibly insightful for analyzing how the public posts migrate through the channel and share specific content. Ongoing analysis of this data will help a page understand its influencers and inform content strategy.• To understand the direct impact that Google+ content is having on search and to inform strategy, perform weekly content positioning audits to research how Google+ content is ranking in comparison to the brand or company’s other content properties on its most prominent keywords.
TRACKING & MEASURING SUCCESSGOOGLE ANALYTICS• Website analytics data can be utilized to show how content is being shared across multiple channels and where that content is driving traffic to your website. For example, Traffic Traffic website analytics will provide clear indicators of which channels are driving the most traffic to your website, but Product cross-analyzing this with Facebook Analytics and Google+ Review Blog Traffic Traffic Ripples, will help a brand better understand the true viral Traffic Traffic nature of the post content.• Google recently made its Social Reports section in Google Analytics more robust. Marketers can now measure and Conversions on attribute last-click conversions and assisted upper-funnel YourSite.com conversions generated by different social networks. This provides the visibility necessary to be able to start assigning credit and value back to specific social channels.
CONCLUSION• Google+ and the launch of Google Search Plus Your World has dramatically altered the face and strategy behind online content marketing.• There are multiple avenues to explore and areas to optimize to capitalize on the changes with how social is being ranked in search.• Developing an audience through engaging, relevant content is the fastest and easiest track to improved search rankings.• Participating in Google+ increases the opportunity for your page to appear next to relevant search results.• Getting involved in Google+ now is paramount.
Recommended Reading and ReferencesWhat is Google Ripples?CASE STUDY: Google+ vs Facebook engagementHow to Create an Effective Google+ SEO Content StrategyThe Future of How Google+ Will Impact Search RankingsNew Google Analytics Social ReportsHow to Create an Effective Google+ SEO Content StrategyContact UsCraig Kronenberger Adam Westincraig.email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.orgCraig on Google+ Adam on Google+Twitter: @ckrons Twitter: @drivefosho